For all of you self-publishing authors out there, you're about to get a little company. It seems that Terry Goodkind has decided to self-publish his next book, The First Confessor. I know that Goodkind's sales has had its ups and downs, but that ultimately he has a pretty devoted fanbase so this shouldn't really be an issue of "no publisher would sell his book".
This sort of opens up some interesting ideas. With the plethora of options out there for authors, why shouldn't self-publishing be more of an option? Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of bonuses with going through a major publisher, but self-publishing has always been seen as a "if all else fails" option by many readers (and even some authors). It used to be that if you saw someone with a self-published book, you'd approach it more with caution than anything else.
Yet the ease of self-publishing through the internet has opened up a lot of doors for authors that are quite frankly, too good to ignore. Self-publishing really never deserved the reputation it got, as it was never really "just a collection of insanely badly written books by your eccentric Aunt Marge". There's been some great things in the self-publishing world, such as Naomi Clark's Night and Chaos. (Which has since been picked up by her publisher Damnation Press.)
Goodkind will be joining a lot of other mainstream authors that have decided to go the self-publishing route, such as Michael Baisden and even J.K. Rowling. The ebooks sold through her Pottermore site are reportedly self-published.
Things like this probably have ebook publishers shaking in their boots and for good reason. Ebook prices nowadays seem to be just as expensive as their print copies, with very little price difference even if they are cheaper. If authors can cut out the middleman and offer their readers copies at a cheaper price, then this could spell doom for the stick-in-the-mud publishers who seem to insist on selling ebooks for as much as they can squeeze from their public.